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There are several successful physiological baby carriers.
We tell you everything about adopting the right actions and best practices.
A simple sling or baby carrier, the solutions for a successful physiological baby carrier are multiple.
But it is necessary to adopt the right actions and good practices!
We have therefore put together tips and advice for you to become an accomplished "physiological carrier" for your baby.
As young parents, you have certainly already heard of the famous physiological baby carrier.
Friends, family, prenatal workshops, magazines ... everyone has their opinion on this concept which designates the way to physiologically carry your baby, that is to say respecting the baby's morphology, body.
But, what is it really?
What are the positions to adopt?
Which accessories should you select?
Here is how to get started, without any fears and in complete safety, with a physiological baby carrier and especially how to choose the right physiological baby.
Carrying your baby is the most natural thing to do and no need to ask yourself any questions.
However, ensuring the physiological carrying of your baby thanks to a baby carrier allows you to combine well-being and practicality.
Prefer physiological baby carriers to the stroller or arms, there are many daily advantages according to Pascale Sermet Rosset, baby carrying instructor:« First of all, it means being as close as possible to the cognitive needs of the child, by allowing olfaction and touch stimulation, but also of the inner ear.
This especially reinforces internal security thanks to the fetal position against the parent.
For example when passing a motorbike in the street, a child being carried will find its resting position quicker ».
For parents too, the advantages are multiple: to be free to move around when carrying your child, thanks to two free arms and symmetrical carrying like a backpack, minimal equipment, which takes up little space, while meeting the safety needs of your newborn.
For parents who worry about bad habits that an over-carried baby might develop, there again, studies show the opposite.
In the book “The great debates of early childhood in the light of scientific knowledge, for or against? », the Dunod edition, Héloïse Junier writes: « A baby who is carried a lot during their first months of life will be much more independent later on.
Research shows us that a baby attached to an adult early on detaches easily when they are ready ».
More autonomy and quicker, assure the specialists.
Moreover, far from being a trend, baby carriers exist and have been proven in many civilizations from generation to generation: Peru, India, Africa...
But back in the western world, why opt for physiological baby carriers? You may think that your arms or stroller will be enough for everyday life with your baby.
However, there is an alternative and effective solution with physiological baby carriers.
It consists in knowing how to carry your child to respect the functioning of its body.
You still need to know the correct position for your newborn and the right positions to adopt!
HOW TO INSTALL YOUR BABY IN THE BABY CARRIER ? THE FRONT POSITION
DO YOU TRANSFER YOUR BABY TO THE BACK POSITION ?
HOW TO GET YOUR BABY OFF THE BABY CARRIER ?
- a seated-squatting position, frog style
- a rounded back, and tilted pelvis
- the head well aligned with the spine and the pelvis, within kissing range
- the hands brought to mouth level
- the legs left dangling, with no pressure points.
In short, your baby carrier must allow the baby's knees to be higher than the baby's bottom.
Seen from the back, the infant's knees and bottom should represent an M.
From the side, the back forms a C.
For newborns and even premature babies, this should correspond as much as possible to the fetal position.
Growing up, this position, as in the mother's womb, will give way to a general adjustment, thanks to a dynamism to the spine.
There are half a dozen categories of baby carriers.
They can be found in specialized shops as well as in childcare chain stores; but baby carrying products have become more democratic in recent years and innovations in physiological baby carriers are multiplying for ever more comfort.
This is the most basic and easy way to carry: woven slings or baby carriers in stretch fabric, with or without elastane.
Woven slings will be less stretchy than so-called knitted slings, in stretch.
These are made of cotton, mostly organic, with spandex fibres. Some models can contain up to 30% bamboo, always with the aim of strengthening support while being flexible.
We recommend stretch slings for premature babies, their fabric, sometimes up to 100% organic cotton, provides more warmth and softness.
It will be necessary to adapt the weight of the fabric to the weight of the baby being carried.
Count up to 250 grams for infants, then 300 grams for heavier babies. Woven or knitted, these baby slings can be used from birth.
Allowing three knot systems, you can opt for a front carry position, a hip carry position, then a back carry position for older babies.
But you also need to know how to tie these famous knots and install the baby properly.
There are many tutorials online but it can quickly scare some parents.
Specific training workshops are recommended if you wish to be reassured.
Also in fabric or mesh, the sling attachment system is made using two rings, which passes over a single shoulder.
The particularity of carrying in a sling, also called carrying in a hammock, is that it is therefore asymmetrical, the baby's weight is not evenly distributed. This can become uncomfortable in the long term for some.
This baby carrier without a knot or loop sling does not require specific training like a basic sling.
Special mention: it allows you to breastfeed in complete privacy.
Note, that there is a water-sling.
Thanks to its special, light and airy fabric, which dries quickly, it allows you to go swimming with your child or carry it in a sling, even
when it's very hot.
Meï-taï or Chinese baby carrier
Asiatic-inspired baby carrier, specialists say it is halfway between a baby sling and a preformed baby carrier.
It consists of a fabric backrest of rectangular or square shape, it attaches with two large, often padded shoulder straps and two shorter straps that tie around your stomach.
Easier to use than a sling because the seat is already "shaped" to accommodate the baby.
The physiological preformed baby carrier
Said to be preformed or structured, this baby carrier is recommended as soon as babies know how to sit and hold.
Installing your baby is made easier thanks to padded, adjustable shoulder straps and a belt that just has to be clipped together.
It is the ready-to-use solution for all parents who do not feel comfortable carrying their baby in a sling and its 5m20 of fabric.
Ready to wear, the preformed baby carrier could be compared to a backpack, offering speed and ease of installation.
At Quechua, it is our favourite means of physiological carrying because we can use it easily and without constraints when walking baby!
They offer more and more innovations to enhance outings with baby: removable or roll-up hood system, ventilation against the heat, another special feature, some models can be upgraded and can carry your child up to 3 or even 4 years old.
Many parents ask the same question: From what age can a physiological baby carrier be used?
And especially up to what age should I carry my child in a physiological baby carrier?
For slings, it depends on the type of weave and the weight.
For physiological baby carriers, there are standards.
Some models allow babies to be carried, even premature babies from birth when other baby carriers specify that it is necessary to wait until the baby's 4/6 months.
The threshold of 4 months, or even 3 months if your child is already tonic, means that the baby knows how to catch their feet and therefore has the necessary muscle tone to be carried in an ergonomic baby carrier.
To know how long to use a physiological baby carrier, you have to rely on the child's weight: maximum 15 kg, according to the standard.
This means up to about 3 years old, depending on your child's build.
As stated above, some evolutionary models, with special padding, can weigh up to 18 or even 20 kg, or up to 5 or 6 years.
Advice from a specialist:To choose the right carrying method and to take advantage of its benefits, you have to find the right material for you and your child, depending on the size, weight, size of the baby ... check the height and width of the device's apron for example.
« Do not fall for the style or the pretty pattern on the carrier.
No random choice, the duo must be created between the carrier and the baby around the carrying system.
Your baby should feel secure in the carrying method. Your baby must be properly supported. », sum up Pascale Sermet Rosset.
Two reasons not to recommend carrying a baby facing the world, according to specialists.
First, the physiological position is not possible: « the baby's back is very straight, even when it is leaning on the carrier's abdominal belt, the legs are dangling, the weight of the body rests on the pubis… it is like sitting on a beam », describes Pascale Sermet Rosset.
Another reason why carrying a baby in a frontal position should be forbidden: the over stimulation that this creates, especially visually: « it's like putting your child in front of the television », adds the specialist.
From around 6 months, when the baby becomes more curious, breastfeeding is reduced, so it is easier to offer a back position, or even on the hip: « the baby then discovers the world in the walking direction, without over stimulation and in safety because the baby is always against you », describes Pascale Sermet Rosset, who believes that between 6 and 9 months is the right age to opt completely for the back position, the baby now knows how to sit alone.
Last tip and not the least for those who want to take advantage of the many advantages of using a baby carrier: come and test and train in the workshop or with a good friend, even before birth. In no time, you will be able to find the device that will suit both the baby and the carrier the best. « Go ahead and you will see the well-being you can experience as a carrier. This provides an exchange of good hormones: oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin… and this will create double comfort for you and the baby. Take advantage of the good times that baby carrying will provide you, you won't regret it », concludes Pascale Sermet Rosset.
As with any carrying system for a child, it requires following several safety tips.
If you do not leave a baby unattended on a changing table, there are also rules to follow when carrying baby!
👶🏼 Choose the good carrying method:
check the quality and condition of your accessory, whatever it is.
Simple sling or physiological carrier, it is necessary to examine the general condition, no tears must be present on the fabric and the straps.
Also pay attention to the specified limits of weight, age and the presence of any materials to be avoided.
For example, favour organic cotton over other materials.
👶🏼 Stay attentive:
To carry in complete safety, you must regularly check that your baby maintains in an upright position, with the chin off the chest, airways clear and face uncovered.
Also avoid the so-called lying cradle position, with the baby on the back at the bottom of the fabric.
Do not use a sling while you sleep.
👶🏼Avoid risky behaviour:
It is always good to remember that with a sling or an ergonomic baby carrier, the abuse of alcohol, drugs or even the taking of certain medications is to be avoided.
Physiological baby carriers, even if they are approved, do not in any way replace a car seat or a bicycle baby carrier.
While walking or hiking, avoid jolts or the risk of falling.
Dangerous or intense sports are of course also to be avoided.
👶🏼Adapt your baby's clothing:
To avoid hot or cold spells, it is advisable to think about the right clothing to wear, both for the carrier and the baby.
The physiological baby carrier or the sling are considered, depending on their thickness, as at least one layer of clothing.
Remember to protect your baby's extremities: especially feet.
Be careful not to lose shoes or socks in nature!
Cover their head, think of sunglasses if necessary, especially if you opt to carry the baby on your back.
👶🏼Know when to stop:
As in the mountains, you sometimes should stop and go home.
If you have the feeling that you have to hold your baby, there is probably a problem with the knotting of your sling or the ties of your baby carrier. It is therefore preferable to remove the baby from the carrying device, check it and then reinstall.
Sling or physiological baby carrier?
So all you have to do now is choose the one adapted for you, so that you can free your hands for a walk, an easy short hike, in complete safety and without constraint!